A prequel series to Shura no Mon, it began serialization in the same magazine in July 1989 where it ran until November 2005. It was collected and published in 15 tankōbon volumes between February 13, 1990 and January 17, 2006. Five aizōban volumes of the series were also released between March 19, 2004 and July 21, 2004.
Even since the Heian era, the members of the Mutsu family have practiced an unarmed martial art, the Mutsu Enmei Ryū. They walked the path of the undefeated and were called the Shura no Mono (Men of Carnage).
Each arc is loosely based on Japanese history, focusing on a member of the fictional Mutsu clan and their influence on the life of a historic swordsman. The first part of the anime revolves around Yakumo Mutsu and Musashi Miyamoto in the early Edo era; the second continues shortly thereafter with Yakumo's son Takato Mutsu and Jūbei Yagyū; and the third shows a more distant descendant of the Mutsu family, Izumi Mutsu, who becomes close friends with Sakamoto Ryōma during the Bakumatsu era. Amusingly, every Mutsu is presented as having a voracious appetite that is frequently remarked upon by other characters.
Three of the story arcs from the manga were adapted into a 26-episode anime series by Media Factory and Studio Comet. It premiered on TV Tokyo on April 6, 2004 and ran until September 28, 2004. Media Blasters licensed the series for distribution in North America. It is so far the only part of the Shura franchise to be released in English.